Reviewer:Jake Feinberg Show
June 30, 2011 Subject:
Note to the Skipper....
My wife and I just spent probably the most enjoyable weekends we've had at The Mission Inn in Riverside, California, for our 17th. The highlight was Henry Franklin on bass in the Presidential Lounge both Friday and Saturday night, with two different pianists: Jimmy Dykes and Gary Matsumoto. Both nights featured jazz standards and classics--and a few of their own compositions.
Skip's solos display originality and technique while staying within an arm's reach of the melody and original rhythm. I never have the feeling that he's just winging it or noodling around in the outback somewhere. His bass produced a whole lot of sustain when he wanted it, such that his stopped notes rang just like his open strings, which I do not notice in all bassists. And this was only his back-up bass since his primary bass was at the luthiers. (Both have his characteristic lion's head scroll, though.)
Another thing: no sign of any real/fake/gig books or any other sheet music anywhere--neither Skip or the pianists. I only heard them turn down one request--Harlem Nocturne, which Dykes did not know. (It's on one of the Skipper's albums, though.)
Henry's played at the Mission Inn for more than ten years straight now. It's only a two-hour round trip, so my wife and I will be going frequently now.